Board of Trustees
In accord with the University's charter, bylaws, mission statement, and other institutional plans, the Board of Trustees of Washington and Lee University serves as ultimate fiduciary by its oversight of institutional affairs and is responsible for the governance and management of the institution. The board is expected to execute its responsibilities of oversight of the University's operations through the activities of its standing and ad hoc committees and during the plenary sessions of the full Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees shall include the President and shall consist of not fewer than fifteen members nor more than forty members, with such number to be determined by the Board of Trustees from time to time. Trustees shall be nominated by the Committee on Trusteeship and elected by the Board. Except for the President, each Trustee shall serve a term of five years until re-elected or until a successor is elected and takes office. A Trustee shall be eligible for re-election to the Board for a second five-year term. Under the following limited circumstances, a Trustee may be re-elected to a third term of up to five years: i) the Trustee is the Rector, ii) the Trustee is the Rector-elect, or iii) other extraordinary circumstances to be determined by the Board. A former Trustee shall be eligible to be elected again as a Trustee two years following his or her final meeting.
The Rector is the presiding officer of the Board of Trustees. He or she is a trustee elected by the board; holds office for a term of four years from the date of election or until a successor is elected; and may serve successive terms in office. The board shall elect, as officers of the corporation, a President, a Treasurer, and a Secretary.
The board conducts three meetings during each calendar year in the months of February, May, and October. Special meetings of the Board may be called at any time by the Rector, the President, or upon the written request of any three trustees.
Messages from the Board
On Thursday, Sept. 24, Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the W&L community regarding the creation of a Residential and Social Life Working Group to assess the current structure, challenges and opportunities of W&L’s residential and social experiences.
On Thursday, August 26, Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the W&L community with an update on the progress made this summer by the university and the Board of Trustees in furtherance of the board’s decisions announced in June.
On Wednesday, July 14, Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the W&L community announcing the election of Betsy Pakenas '94 and Jonathan Wortham '04 to the Board of Trustees.
On Friday, June 4, the Board of Trustees wrote to the W&L community to announce that the university will continue under its current name. The board also decided to expand diversity and inclusion initiatives and make changes to campus buildings, practices, and governance.
On Wednesday, May 5, Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the W&L community with an update on the Board of Trustees' process and timing.
On Thursday, Jan. 28, Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the W&L community with an update on the Board of Trustees' work.
On Thursday, Oct. 22, Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the W&L community with an update following the board's fall meeting.
On Monday, Sept. 14, Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the W&L community about the next phase of the special committee's work.
Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the W&L community with an update on the Work of the Special Committee of the Board of Trustees.
Rector Mike McAlevey '86 wrote to the the W&L community regarding the Board of Trustees' Plan to Address Issues of Racial Justice and University History.
Frequently Asked Questions
In July 2020, the Board of Trustees undertook a deep and detailed review of W&L's symbols and name with the intention of securing the brightest possible future for the university.